Van de Beek strike earns Netherlands draw with Spain

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands drew 1-1 at home to Spain in a friendly on Wednesday after Donny van de Beek cancelled out an earlier strike from Sergio Canales.

Soccer Football - International Friendly - Netherlands v Spain - Johan Cruijff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands - November 11, 2020 Netherlands’ Donny van de Beek celebrates scoring their first goal with Memphis Depay Pool via REUTERS/Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Netherlands’ Manchester City defender Nathan Ake was forced off early in the game with a muscle injury while Spain’s Jose Gaya also came off in the first half, after a clash of heads with Hans Hateboer.

Canales struck his first goal for Spain to open the scoring in the 19th minute, latching on to a pass from Alvaro Morata and firing low into the net.

Manchester United midfielder Van de Beek levelled early in the second half, beating Spain’s debutant keeper Unai Simon at the near post.

Luis Enrique’s side had dominated the first half of the match between the 2010 World Cup finalists but the Netherlands bossed the second and missed two clear chances to win the match.

Simon thwarted captain Memphis Depay from close range with a low dive but the forward should really have put the chance away, while Luuk de Jong spurned a late foray into the area, losing control of the ball and allowing Spain’s defenders to get back.

“We had some good spells but we were a bit unorganised in the second half and they piled lots of players forward and we struggled to cope with that,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique.

“Overall I got good sensations from the game.”

Luis Enrique fielded an experimental side ahead of upcoming UEFA Nations League matches against Switzerland and Germany, leaving captain Sergio Ramos and fellow World Cup winner Sergio Busquets out of his lineup, although Ramos came off the bench late on.

“Our plan was to have the players fresh for our two competitive games and I’m more than satisfied with what I saw,” he added.

“We don’t have many games but today allowed me to see that all our players can compete when called upon.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis